(aka "Paprika, Life in a Brothel" )


directed by Tinto Brass
Italy 1991


Mimma (Deborah Caprioglio) is tricked into working in a brothel for fifteen days by her strapped-for-cash boyfriend. Rechristened "Paprika" by the house madame (Martine Brochard of Brass' THE VOYEUR), she falls in love with her first client, a sailor named Franco (Stephane Ferrara). Although she becomes a smash in several of the best bordellos in Italy, she still longs for Franco. When the law closes down the bordellos, Paprika has managed to marry a rich old man (much to the consternation of his greedy relatives) and inherit a fortune that allows her to have a happy ending with Franco.

PAPRIKA is one of Brass' most enjoyable and lavish films (producer Augusto Caminito also greenlighted the slick FLASHDANCE/FAME-inspired giallo MURDEROCK and eventually took over directing the troubled and uneven yet visually arresting NOSFERATU IN VENICE which he also wrote). Star Caprioglio was briefly married to Klaus Kinski at the time of filming and literally struts into every shot with uninhibited abandon and Brass mainstay Jost Jakob provides some striking costumes. A recurrent theme in Brass' work that makes an appearance here is the equating of the closing down of bordellos with the death of the art of eroticism. Brass mingles the tragic and the comic well here. In a scene where one of the prostitutes is discovered to be deathly ill, both as a doctor and a priest are within easy reach as clients.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 13 February 1991

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DVD Review: Arrow Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Arrow Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:51:16 (4% PAL speedup)

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.8 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles English (burnt-in)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: 24 Jun 2002

Chapters 12



According to the BBFC's website, this DVD release has been 1 minute and 56 seconds. At the time, the Arrow Entertainment disc is the only English-friendly release (new and used copies can be had cheaply at Amazon UK's marketplace). The 1.66:1 image is non-anamorphic and the subtitles are burnt in but they are white and not very distracting. The haziness of the image is mostly intended although the non-anamorphic source probably could look better. The colors are rich when they want to be and the blacks are nice and deep (when Brass cuts from the scene of the old man announcing his and Paprika's coming marriage to Paprika in funeral black, the comic aspect of the edit is balanced by the contrasting color scheme).

There are no extras, not even a still gallery which is unfortunate because there are some nice production and promotional stills for the film.

NOTE: (sent in email) "Concerning Arrow's UK DVD of Paprika, though the BBFC do indeed list cuts of 1 minute 56 seconds, it looks as though the material in question was not actually deleted from the DVD. The footage as described in their database is clearly still intact, and a comparison of the running times confirms this:

The BBFC state the cut running time as 1:49:24.
The actual running time (timed by you) is 1:51:16.

Arrow's eight film Tinto Brass box set including Paprika contains the same version. To date it appears as though no one has noticed the mistake." (Thanks Daniel!)

 - Eric Cotenas

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Region 2 - PAL



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